Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Reading Buffy Synoptically: The Continuum in Buffy the Vampire Slayer

I would argue that many analysts of gender in film, television, and literature, tend to play in conceptions of gender that are far too narrow and far too binary. For instance, they often miss and ignore variations within masculine, feminine, straight, bi-, gay, and lesbian categories in films and television programmes. While there are antinomies or binaries in many films, many television programmes and in Buffy—there is good and evil in the Buffyverse, there are those with souls or conscience and those without, there are males and females—there is also, at least in Buffy, a sense that “masculinity” and “femininity” is like evil in the Buffyverse, analogical, lying on a continuum, since some individuals can share both “masculine” and “feminine” traits just as those who once were evil can become good (even if they are vampires or demons). In the Buffyverse, in other words, or so it seems to me, all humans have the potential for good and evil and all males and females have the potential for exhibiting what are typically regarded, in the mainstream, as “masculine” and “feminine” traits.

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